Central Florida hotels had year-over-gains again in May, with occupancy rates and average daily room rates increasing compared with the same month last year.

Hotels filled 71.5 percent of their rooms in May, compared with 67.2 percent in May 2013, according to the STR travel research firm.

Average room rates also rose, hitting $105.08. That was an increase of more than $5 over the same time last year.

Revenue per available room — a key industry measure that accounts for occupancy rates and room prices — jumped almost 13 percent, rising from $66.78 last year to $75.18 in May.

Through the first five months of the year, revenue per available room was a little more than $88, up more than 11 percent compared with 2013.

Area hotels are posting strong numbers as the economy and consumer confidence improve. Analysts say demand for travel is up, and there is a greater willingness among consumers to spend on trips and vacations.

That also has been reflected in the tax paid on hotel rooms in Orange County. For May, tourist-tax revenue was almost $16.3 million, a 9 percent increase over May 2013, county officials said.

Orange County Comptroller Martha Haynie called the numbers “another nice increase” that demonstrates “the strength of our hospitality industry.”

The STR report breaks the Orlando hotel market into seven geographic areas and five price classes.

Six of seven regions posted higher occupancy rates, with the exception being hotels north of Orlando. All five price classes of hotels saw occupancy rates and revenue per available room rates increase.

Leading the way were hotels in the “upscale” category, one step below luxury hotels. Upscale hotels saw revenue per available room jump more than 23 percent compared with the same time last year. Those in the “economy” class — one step above the least expensive properties — saw revenue rise by more than 18 percent.

jstratton@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5379 ___

Photo Credit: Florida hotel rates and revenue are booking as the economy improves and consumer confidence rises along with it. Pictured is Disney's Grand Floridian Resort on August 23, 2013. Jeffrey Zeldman / flickr.com